The Walking Dead wrapped up a tremendous year of 16 episodes in terms of quality with the back half of season nine and front half of season ten on Sunday night. However, despite the high quality run of storytelling, the ratings continue to slide as the AMC zombie series hit a new series low in ratings with its mid-season ten finale. The show finished in second place on the night behind only The Simpsons in its Thanksgiving episode, a rare non-win for the once-juggernaut series which was hauling in 17 million viewers on Sunday night at its peak.
The Walking Dead Episode 10x08 hauled in 3.21 million total viewers on Sunday night for a 1.02 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. It is the lowest live viewing number for the series since it launched at the beginning of the decade in October of 2010. Numbers will likely increase when Live+3 numbers are revealed and AMC also benefits from viewings through its AMC Premiere service which allows audiences to stream the new episodes before they air on Sunday nights.
Despite the slip in live viewership, The Walking Dead is still looking to expand as a franchise. Sunday night, a trailer for its third series The Walking Dead: World Beyond was revealed as it gears up for a debut in the Spring of 2020. Fear the Walking Dead began production on its sixth season on Monday. There has been no news on the front of the promised trilogy of films centered around Rick Grimes since it was revealed that they would play in theaters being released by Universal Studios.
The AMC show has been focused on character-driven storytelling lately, offering up some surprising twists last in 2019 involving Dante and Siddiq. The ability to make two lesser tier characters the central point of a shocking story to end the year goes to show new showrunner Angela Kang's impressive ability to hone in on story and character. As the numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction, it's difficult to say what will get viewers back on board with the show at this point.
The Walking Dead will return in February of 2020.